Maher's Explodes To LGCT Overall Title With Roman Win

Credit : Stefano Grasso

Saturday 08 September - 21h36 | Lulu Kyriacou/ Edited Press Release

Maher's Explodes To LGCT Overall Title With Roman Win

Ben Maher justified his decision to keep Poden Farms' Explosion W from World Championship selection to concentrate on the Longines Global Champions Tour  (LGCT) when he won the LGCT Grand Prix of Rome after a five horse jump off and took the overall title with one round (in Doha) to spare.

 - Maher's Explodes To LGCT Overall Title With Roman Win

Ben Maher and his extraordinary horse have won with a round to spare
Credit : Stefano Grasso

Maher and his horse have barely been out of the top three at any LGCT show in which they have competed in 2018, and the British number one has won three of the.  The Rome win followed those in Madrid and St Tropez. The new LGCT Champion of Champions said after his victory, “It has been an incredible season, I can’t quite believe it. It is great to be back in the top end of the sport. Explosion W is incredibly fast, I have never ridden a horse as fast without really pushing him. What a horse. Explosion is phenomenal for his age.
 
“I have a lot to thank Poden Farms and the Moffitt family for for supporting me, it is a team effort. To finish in style like this is something I will savour for some time. To win is a dream come true.”

Maher is also at the top of the Global Champions League overall team championship ranking with London Knights and could take that title at the finals in Doha in Qatar in November.

At the press conference Maher continued, "“There was a bit of pressure today, with the team for GCL, and to qualify for the Grand Prix. Explosion took a bit of time to settle [in Rome], he wasn’t quite as relexed in the first couple of rounds but as I was warming up for the Grand Prix I could feel him kicking into gear as he normally does. He jumped incredible today. I was fortunate as last to go - he’s naturally very very fast, and I made one or two mistakes in previous rounds which cost me greatly! I’m very proud of this horse.
 
As Jan said it’s a long season, I’ve been competing in LGCT since almost the beginning and never really come close - never had the horsepower or the number of horses, so I have a lot to thank Poden Farms for and the Moffitt family. As Jan said it’s a team effort, they are young horses - we have a strong group of grooms and riders behind me, so it’s really thanks to them.
 
To finish early means I can relax a bit, rest the horses and go to Doha with goals in mind. GCL is very important for the London Knights. But it’s been an incredible season for me - if someone said to me six months ago that I’d be sitting here with two 9 year old horses I would never have believed that. I can’t quite believe it to be honest. Even today, I just kept my head down, stuck to my plan, trust my horse. I have to believe that he will clear every jump, and I know he’s fast, so it’s great to be back in the top end of the sport this year. I’m really going to enjoy this moment."

​In tonight's class Henrik von Eckermann finished in second with Jos Verloy in third but it was really all about Ben Maher this evening as impressed by  Jan Tops, Founder and President LGCT: “No one deserved it more than Ben this season. He’s had three wins. He has two great horses in super shape and he’s the well deserved Champion of the year. He managed his horses well, he had the goal to win this - it’s the most difficult [Championship] to win over 16 legs, against all the best horses and riders in the world. You have to have a good plan, great management and of course a bit of luck but he did everything well and it’s very well deserved. I prefer smaller jump offs, Uliano again did an amazing job - it was tough but everything was fair. It was a great win. I’m happy also for Henrik who qualified for the LGCT Super Grand Prix in Prague. And Jos has been very consistent this season so deserves to be on the podium. These young riders are the future for our sport, and it’s nice to see how comfortable they are now on these big tracks. It’s what we all want to see as riders for the future.
 
"The 2018 winner is decided but Alberto [Zorzi], Scott [Brash] and Christian [Ahlmann] could all finish on the podium there, so the final will be great.”
 
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